M/W

VIDEO: Pat Ottensmeyer, 2020 Railroader of the Year

The 57th annual recipient of Railway Age’s Railroader of the Year Award is Kansas City Southern President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, a leader in positioning North American railroads as a critical part of the globally competitive, integrated supply chain. In this interview with Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono, Ottensmeyer talks about his efforts on behalf of the North American rail industry to support mutually beneficial trade and robust economic growth to help ensure that the rail industry has a voice, working with public- and private-sector leaders to strengthen bilateral commercial ties.

Virginia, CSX, Amtrak Get Serious About Passenger Rail

Amtrak trains will operate almost every hour between Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Va., within 10 years under a landmark $3.7 billion agreement involving the Commonwealth of Virginia, CSX and Amtrak that will expand passenger rail service in the region and other parts of the state, improve CSX’s capacity, and cost far less than one-third of an interstate highway expansion, according to a Dec. 19 Richmond Times-Dispatch report.

“Don’t Replace Your Bridge Too Soon”

There is a great deal of technology and data science that can help extend track and bridge structure life. But the railroads are not always out in front in exploiting the opportunities. Engineers can see the practical uses of bridge “micro movement” sensor technology. But at the big executive table that allocates the budget resources inside railroads, identified economic opportunities point to the need for the chief financial officer and his or her risk management staff to get directly involved in examining the identified options not seen before sensor data analytics entered the tool box. Perhaps as many of one-half of all visual inspection-based bridge capex decisions are wrong. Why? Because the visual data entered into the sophisticated engineering spreadsheet formulas isn’t accurate enough.

A December to Remember—Despite Political Tensions

For any American who has been following media coverage of Washington in recent weeks, there must have been a tremendous sense of frustration, and even questions about whether our elected leaders would ever be able to get things done. Every article, television segment and tweet seemed to be about the impeachment battle, leading to a perception of total dysfunction and gridlock in our nation’s capitol.